The Man With The Golden Airline Ticket
My dad was one of the only people with a good-for-life, go-anywhere American Airlines pass. Then they took it away. This is the true story of having—and losing—a superpower.
The Night The Music Died
It came out of the sky about five miles north of Clear Lake, Iowa, and slammed into the frozen earth. Outside lay the bodies of three young men who had been thrown from the plane at more than 100 miles per hour. Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and Jiles P. Richardson, also known as the Big Bopper, were dead.
The New Mind Control
The internet has spawned subtle forms of influence that can flip elections and manipulate everything we say, think and do. Most of the vacuous thoughts and intense feelings our teenagers experience from morning till night are carefully orchestrated by highly skilled marketing professionals working in our fashion and entertainment industries.
The Doomsday Invention: Will Artificial Intelligence Bring Us Utopia Or Destruction?
Philosopher Nick Bostrom argues that true artificial intelligence, if it is realized, might pose a danger that exceeds every previous threat from technology—even nuclear weapons—and that if its development is not managed carefully humanity risks engineering its own extinction.
For Bumble, The Future Isn’t Female, It’s Female Marketing
Whitney Wolfe Herd set out to build a safer dating app for women, but it’s not clear that she’s made a measurable difference. According to a company user survey, about a third of Bumble women had received lewd photos from men, whether through text or other social media that Bumble couldn’t control.
How To Spot A Perfect Fake: The World’s Top Art Forgery Detective
The incentive to be a proficient forger has soared; a single, expertly executed old master knockoff can finance a long, comfortable retirement. The technologies available to abet the aspiring forger have also improved. Forgeries have got so good – and so costly – that Sotheby’s has brought in its own in-house fraud-busting expert.
Uncatchable: The Story Of Fugitive George Wright
George Wright, America’s most elusive fugitive, ran for forty years. He ran from the cops after escaping from prison. He ran from the feds after the most brazen hijacking in history. He ran from the authorities on three continents, hiding out and blending in wherever he went.
The Strange & Curious Tale Of The Last True Hermit
For nearly thirty years, a phantom haunted the woods of Central Maine. Unseen and unknown, he lived in secret, creeping into homes in the dead of night and surviving on what he could steal. To the spooked locals, he became a legend—or maybe a myth. They wondered how he could possibly be real.
Can Computers Ever Replace The Classroom?
Derek Haoyang Li is the founder of Squirrel AI, an education company that offers tutoring delivered in part by humans, but mostly by smart machines, which he says will transform education as we know it. Other entrepreneurs are making similarly extravagant claims about the power of online learning.
Who Owns South Africa?
The Glen Grey Act was the first piece of legislation to enshrine in law the residential separation of the races. It was also the basis for the notorious Natives Land Act of 1913, which in its final form allocated a mere thirteen percent of all arable land to the black majority.
A Mother Journeys Through Grief Across Finland’s Many Islands
The beauty and calm of the Aland archipelago is deceptive. Aland is a Swedish-speaking autonomous region of Finland and consists of 16 municipalities. The island population is close to 30,000; around 12,000 live in Mariehamn. The smallest municipality, Sottunga, had 91 residents in 2018. Isolation encourages contemplation — but can it offer respite as well?
‘This Is Small Talk Purgatory’: What Tinder Taught Me About Love
I found myself single in a town where the non-student population is 1,236 people. I briefly considered flirting with the cute local bartender, the cute local mailman. For the first time in my life, I decided to date online. But finding someone fully and messily human was harder than I thought.
The Jungle Prince Of Delhi
For 40 years, journalists chronicled the eccentric royal family of Oudh, deposed aristocrats who lived in a ruined palace in the Indian capital. It was a tragic, astonishing story. But was it true?
The World’s Oldest Winery in Armenia
The Areni-1 complex, uncovered in 2007, contains a 6,100-year-old winery replete with fermenting vats, a grape press, and subterranean clay storage vessels. Altogether, it’s the best-preserved archeological site in the ongoing search for winemaking’s birthplace.
What It’s Like To Be A Billionaire’s Butler
The newest trend among the world’ s ultra-rich—like, royalty-grade, private-plane-owning Scrooge McDuck rich—is to have a butler. But what type of person would willingly give over his life to serving the outrageously moneyed?
Synthetic Media: The Real Trouble With Deepfakes
Keeping on top of manipulated videos and images is no easy feat. Scientists trace the roots of their proliferation, dig up new techniques to counter digital forgeries and warn of the growing dangers ahead.
What Noma Did Next: How The ‘New Nordic’ Is Reshaping The Food World
In our time of climate crisis and inequality, as top chefs dream less of Michelin stars and more of changing the world, the New Nordic movement is reaching beyond haute cuisine into classrooms, supermarkets and parliaments.
The Great American Tax Haven: Why The Super-Rich Love South Dakota
Last year billionaire Sun Hongbin quietly transferred $4.5bn worth of shares in his Chinese real estate firm to a company on a street corner in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Thanks to its relish for deregulation, the state is fast becoming the most profitable place for the mega-wealthy to park their billions.
There Is No Reason to Cross the U.S. by Train. But I Did It Anyway.
Tell your fellow Americans that you plan to cross the United States by train, and their reactions will range from amusement at your spellbinding eccentricity to naked horror that they, through some fatal social miscalculation, have become acquainted with a person who would plan to cross the United States by train.
The Secret History Of A Cold War Mastermind
The legend of Gus Weiss, hero of the Cold War, ends 11 stories below the balcony of his condo at the Watergate complex in Washington, DC, on November 25, 2003. A broken corpse on the sidewalk. He was a shrewd intelligence insider, pulled off an audacious tech hack against the Soviets in the last century. Or did he?
Inside Google’s Civil War
With its “Don’t be evil” mantra, Google was a central player in creating the rosy optimism of the tech boom. Some employees say Google is losing touch with that motto. What happens when an empowered tech workforce rebels?